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Psychological FactorsSports psychology is the psychological and mental factors that affect an individual’s participation and performance in sport, exercise, and physical activity, and the application of how participation in sport and physical activity affects one’s psychological development, health, and wellbeing.Team cohesion is developed through the Tuckman’s stages of group development. The Tuckman’s stages of group development have four stages which are:Forming Storming Norming PerformingForming- The forming stage takes place when the team first meets each other. Team members are introduced, they share information about their backgrounds, interests, and experience and form first impressions of each other. They learn about the plans for the year ahead, training and competition, discuss the team’s objectives/goals and start to think about what role they can play on the team. They are not yet training or working together, it is the very beginning. They are finding their way around how they might work together. An example of forming was when I first went to Solihull Moors FC. When I went there I didn’t know anyone so I had to get to know people and find out about them.Storming- As the team begins to work, train, play and compete together they move into the storming stage. Every team, most especially a new team who have never worked together before – goes through this part of developing as a team.They have different opinions on what should be done and how it should be done – which will often cause conflict within the team. The coach and team leader needs to be adept at facilitating the team through this stage ensuring the team members learn to listen to each other and respect differences and ideas. This includes not allowing any one team member to control all conversations. An example for this stage is the first training session of the preseason for me and other 1st years for Solihull Moors FC scholarship. Athletes will begin to take a greater responsibility in the leadership, and resolution of conflict as time goes on and the team becomes more established.Norming- When the team moves into the norming stage they are beginning to be more effective as a team. At this stage, working together as a team seems more natural and it becomes obvious when the team is not functioning as a “team”. At this stage, the team has agreed on their team rules for working together, how they communicate and resolve team conflict, and what tools and processes they use to get the things done. The team members begin to trust each other. Rather than compete against each other, they are now helping each other to work toward a common team goal. The team members also start to make significant progress as a team. They respect each other’s opinions and value their differences. They begin to see the practical value in those who are different on the team and want to be the best athlete for the team. An example at this point of the team has melded together much more efficiently. In the cup games I play in, the team may have some success, and you may notice that the team appears to be guiding themselves with less direction from you as a coach due to the players knowing how to play with each other.Performing- In the performing stage teams are functioning at a very high level. The focus is on reaching the goal as a group. The team members have gotten to know each other, trust each other and rely on each other. Performance can be measured by the morale of the team and the actual on-field performance of the team. That is, are they achieving their performance statistics or quite simply, are they winning and feel great about being part of a team. However, the Coach and team leader is involved less in decision making, problem-solving or other such activities involving the day-to-day work of the team. The team members work effectively as a group and do not need the oversight that is required at the other stages. An example with this stage is that later in the league the team (Solihull Moors FC), we felt like we had strong chemistry and we didn’t have to worry a bit about the players we had around us. Conflicts that we previously have to resolve might not be easily handled by the team. Motivation – motivation is the desires to succeed in the sport you play in. This is intrinsic because motivation comes from within without any interference from the things around you. A good effect of motivation is that it will allow the performer to work harder on improving their skills in training. A negative effect is that being overly motivated can pressure athletes to train more and more which can injury the athlete due to overuse of muscles. Intrinsic Motivation- Intrinsically motivated athletes participate in sport for internal reasons, particularly pure enjoyment and satisfaction, and intrinsically motivated athletes typically concentrate on skill improvement and growth.The way you act from an Intrinsic MotivationBetter task-relevant focusLess distractionLess stress when mistakes are madeIncreased confidence and self-efficacyFun and StimulationHaving fun and developing skills is one of the most important reason athletes participate in sport. Wise coaches know that meeting athletes’ need for fun enhances motivation, however, it is also critical that athletes practice to learn and improve skills. Therefore a good coach must find unique ways to facilitate skill development in a way that athletes will find fun.Social CohesionSocial Cohesion relates to how well the team members enjoy each other’s company. In recreational sport, all of the players may get on well with one another and enjoy playing the game regardless of whether they win or lose. However, as they will only be playing to have fun, they would possibly do fun games in training that would help you a match. It would also give the players an equal amount of time in games and would also get fit physical hardness.Extrinsic motivation- Extrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by external rewards such as money, fame, grades, and praise. This type of motivation arises from outside the individual, as opposed to intrinsic motivation, which originates inside of the individual. Extrinsic motivation may lead athletes to feel like their behavior is controlled by the extrinsic rewards.  On the other hand, athletes may continue to feel like they control their own behavior even with the presence of extrinsic rewards. Behavior controlled by the extrinsic rewardsExtrinsic rewardsAvoiding punishment or guiltLess interest, value, and effort towards achievementAnxietyGroup cohesionGroup cohesion is a united group of people who are aiming for a goal or objective, for example, a team that aims to win a championship. Group cohesion can affect performance because if you are a part of a team who doesn’t have good cohesion then you are most likely not going to perform well due to problems in the group or because you don’t know how each individual plays within your team. These type of players get motivated to win medals and will have my harder intensity drills. They would also choose the better players to play and they would be the ones to get the most minutes.What is Anxiety?Anxiety is the negative aspect of stress and a lot of the time is accompanied by high levels of stress, it can cause a number of things including nervousness and worry. Stress and anxiety are unique to each individual.There are 2 types of anxiety:Trait Anxiety State AnxietyTrait AnxietyTrait anxiety is when a person feels high levels of anxiety as part of their personality they tend to worry and panic in different types of situations.For example, Mike Tyson has a trait of being highly stressed and could have possibly affected his past performances but also could have helped him maintain focus and motivation. Another example could be that two field goal kickers have equal physical skills place under identical pressure, yet have entirely different state anxiety reactions because of their personalities (their level of trait anxiety). Goalkeeper 1 is more laid back (low trait anxious) and does not perceive kicking the game-winning goal as overly threatening. He does not experience more state anxiety than would be expected in such a situation. Goalkeeper 2, however, is high trait anxious and consequently perceives the chance to kick (or in his view to miss) the winning field goal as very threatening.  He experiences tremendous state anxiety much more than we would expect in such a situation.State AnxietyState anxiety is anxiety felt in response to a specific situation and finds themselves threatened for example in basketball if a really good defender applies a tremendous amount of pressure the athlete could panic and not know what to do. Another example could be that a football goalkeeper feels slightly nervous before kick off (elevated state anxiety).  Once the game has started the nervousness disappears (state anxiety levels), towards the end of the game the goal starts to feel nervous again as there is a lot of pressure from the opposing team as it is a tight contest (High elevation of state anxiety).ArousalArousal is a blend of physiological and psychological activity in a person and it refers to the level of motivation, alertness, and excitement at a particular moment.Athletes need to maintain optimal levels of arousal.  The intensity of arousal falls along a continuum and is dependent on each individual and the activities being participated in.  Inverted U HypothesisAs mentioned above athletes need to maintain optimal levels of arousal.  An athlete who has low levels of arousal will underperform and will not be ready for the intensity and challenges of the game. As arousal increases performance improves up to an optimal point where best performance results. If arousal levels continue to increase and are too high, it can then cause the athletes’ performance to decline to result in the athlete making a lot of mistakes.The excessive level of arousal leads to increased muscular tension, poor decision making, loss of concentration, and disrupted rhythm and coordination. Therefore being able to recognize and control the level of arousal is an important factor in maximising an athlete’s performance.This is represented by an inverted U.  As shown in Figure 1, with the high-performance optimal level of arousal is achieved by athletes and a decline in the athlete’s performance with either low or very high level of arousal.StressStress is a feeling that is created when you react to certain events.  It is the body’s way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness. Stress becomes a problem when it starts to affect your day to day lifestyle activities.Sources of StressThere are many factors that can cause stress among individuals and athletes.  These stressors can affect a person’s mental and physical health. These sources can come from day to day activities such as going to school and major life changes such as moving to a new school or a family member getting sick.For an athlete sources of stress can come from:Performance issues – worrying about performing up to capabilities and self-doubt about talent.Environmental Issues – Financial costs and time needed for trainingOrganisational Issues – Coaching leadership and communicationRelationships or Traumatic Experiences outside of sport – Death of a family member or negative interpersonal relationships

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